usman khan
Usman Khan was the pick of Pakistan bowlers with figures of 3/19 (AFP Photo)

Hong Kong batsmen failed to offer any semblance of a fight against a red-hot Pakistan attack as they were bundled out for 116 in their Asia Cup 2018 opener at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

The pair of Kinchit Shah and Aizaz Khan built a partnership to dig their team out of a hole after they’d lost half of their side inside 17 overs for 44 runs. They added 53 runs for the sixth wicket before being separated.

Left-arm pacer Usman Khan then hastened their collapse in the 31st over with three wickets in the space of five deliveries. He first broke through the defense of Aizaz to have him clean bowled on 27 and then trapped Scott McKechnie lbw for a two-ball duck. His final delivery of the over was an indipper and Tanwir Afzal (0) was left to ponder what had happened on his way back to the dressing room with his off stump rattled first-ball.

It was a bittersweet performance for the 24-year-old pacer as he hobbled off the pitch midway through his eighth over which was completed by Fakhar Zaman.

However, Hong Kong began their innings in menacing fashion after captain Anshuman Rath opted to bat first. It seemed Nizakat Khan was unfazed by Mohammed Amir’s reputation, hitting two fours in three deliveries with Hong Kong taking 11 runs from it.

But a poor response to what should have been a quick single and a direct-hit from Shadab Khan resulted in a long walk back for Nizakat to the pavilion on 13. Anshuman hit three fours in his 19 before a poor shot resulted in him being out caught behind.

Shadab Khan then bowled a flurry of googlies to leave Hong Kong in a spin. Two of those deliveries in his first over got him two wickets – Babar Hayat stumped on 7 and Ehsan Khan lbw for a two-ball duck.

Hong Kong lost their final wicket in the same way as they lost their first – to a run-out A big mix-up as Mohammad Nawaz scampered for a single but was sent back. However, before he could make his way back to safety, Sarfaraz Khan had picked up Hasan Ali’s throw and removed the bails. Hong Kong innings lasted 37.1 overs.

Usman was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/19 while Ali and Shadab chipped in with two wickets each.

Brief Scores: Hong Kong 116 (Aizaz Khan 27, Kinchit Shah 26; Usman Khan 3/19) vs Pakistan